Tech

As part of their efforts to slow the outbreak of coronavirus, governments, research institutions and industry are developing contact tracing apps to record interactions between people. The apps warn users if one of the people they have been recorded as being in contact with is later diagnosed with COVID-19 so they can take appropriate steps like self-isolation.

Such apps could prove useful in avoiding long-term confinement measures. However they collect sensitive information like location data, Bluetooth-enabled proximity information, and whether individuals are infected.

In the final few minutes of a spacecraft landing it is moving at hypersonic speeds through many layers of atmosphere. Knowing the air density outside of the vehicle can have a substantial effect on its angle of descent and ability to hit a specific landing spot. But air density sensors that can withstand the harsh hypersonic conditions are uncommon.

Newly discovered single-celled creatures living deep beneath the seafloor have given researchers clues about how they might find life on Mars. These bacteria were discovered living in tiny cracks inside volcanic rocks after researchers persisted over a decade of trial and error to find a new way to examine the rocks.

Learning from nature, scientists from the Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan and the Korean Basic Science Institute (KBSI) have found a catalyst that efficiently transforms nitrate into nitrite--an environmentally important reaction--without requiring high temperature or acidity, and now have identified the mechanism that makes this efficiency possible.

Sustainable energy storage is in great demand. Researchers at Uppsala University have therefore developed an all-organic proton battery that can be charged in a matter of seconds. The battery can be charged and discharged over 500 times without any significant loss of capacity. Their work has been published in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie.

A sea cage can hold up to 200000 farmed salmon. If the cage sustains damage, such as a hole in the nets, the fish could swim out through the opening and make their escape in short order.

Clearly, the aquaculture industry wants to avoid this scenario. Not only do escapes lead to large losses for the industry, but no one wants farm-raised salmon to mix and interbreed with wild populations.

Keeping an eye on what is going on inside the cages is critical for being able to respond and repair any damage promptly.

Bethesda, Maryland (April 1, 2020) -- Today, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published new COVID-19 recommendations in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA: AGA Institute Rapid Recommendations for Gastrointestinal Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the tau protein is a major culprit. Found abundantly in our brain cells, tau is normally a team player -- it maintains structure and stability within neurons, and it helps with transport of nutrients from one part of the cell to another.

HOUSTON -- Although metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) typically has limited response to immunotherapy, a subset of patients with pretreatment evidence of active T-cell responses in their tumors experienced prolonged survival after following treatment with ipilimumab in a Phase II trial at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The results, published today in Science Translational Medicine, suggest that certain patients with mCRPC may benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors and provide biomarkers for identifying this subgroup.

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- People who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, such as heavy smokers, are routinely screened with computed tomography (CT), which can detect tumors in the lungs. However, this test has an extremely high rate of false positives, as it also picks up benign nodules in the lungs.

Leesburg, VA, April 1, 2020--Updated CT scoring criteria that considers lobe involvement, as well as changes in CT findings, could quantitatively and accurately evaluate the progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia, according to an open-access article in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

"The earlier that COVID-19 is diagnosed and treated, the shorter the time to disease resolution and the lower the highest and last CT scores are," concluded lead author Guoquan Huang of Wuhu Second People's Hospital in China.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In recent years, scientists have uncovered evidence that modern humans and Neanderthals share a tangled past. In the course of human history, these two species of hominins interbred not just once, but at multiple times, the thinking goes.

Washington, DC-- Carbon is essential for life as we know it and plays a vital role in many of our planet's geologic processes--not to mention the impact that carbon released by human activity has on the planet's atmosphere and oceans. Despite this, the total amount of carbon on Earth remains a mystery, because much of it remains inaccessible in the planet's depths.

Horseshoe crabs are remarkable animals, beautiful in their weirdness. These "living fossils" evolved 450 million years ago and have lived through at least five mass extinctions fatal to the majority of multicellular lifeforms on Earth. Sea-dwelling relatives of spiders, horseshoe crabs can lay millions of eggs, have four pairs of eyes, and (importantly to us) have blue blood containing amoeba-like immune cells. These horseshoe crab immune cells are analogous to the white blood cells of in our bodies, which protect us against a wide range of pathogens.

Genetic information from an 800.000-year-old human fossil has been retrieved for the first time. The results from the University of Copenhagen shed light on one of the branching points in the human family tree, reaching much further back in time than previously possible.

An important advancement in human evolution studies has been achieved after scientists retrieved the oldest human genetic data set from an 800,000-year-old tooth belonging to the hominin species Homo antecessor.